Senior Italian politicians signed-off conditions and financial backing for the country’s economic ministry to buy a minority stake in Telecom Italia fixed spin-off NetCo for up to €2.2 billion, should an agreement between KKR and the operator over a sale of the asset materialise.

In a statement, Italy’s Council of Ministers revealed it had approved a decree ensuring the financial resources to buy the stake were available, while also giving the nod for the structure and make-up of a deal.

A memorandum of understanding between KKR and the country’s Ministry of Economy and Finance on outline terms for an acquisition of a stake of up to 20 per cent of NetCo was signed earlier this month.

The proposal signed-off by the ministers put the share expected to be acquired at between 15 and 20 per cent, with a maximum outlay of €2.2 billion.

“The decree envisages a strategic role for the government in the pursuit of development objectives of strategic importance and in matters of national security,” the politicians explained.

Hours after the decision, Reuters reported one of the draft decrees on the matter opened the possibility of Italy eventually acquiring full ownership of submarine and wholesale unit Sparkle, which is set to be part of the NetCo business.

The operator is currently in exclusive negotiations with KKR over a bid for NetCo with a view to receiving a binding offer for the unit by the end of September.